Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Conferences and Conventions

Like Vicki, I was in Victoria for Bloody Words this past weekend. Between the two of us, we’ve attended a lot of these things, and we talked about that at one point – probably in the bar at the end of one of the long days. The discussion was on panels we’ve all seen too many times, and how, in order to find something new, bad decisions can often be made.

I’m sure most of the Type M readers have attended mystery-related conferences, too, and I’d like everyone’s opinion on what constitutes a good panel at one of these things and some ideas for a panel that you’d really want to attend.

So, okay folks, dish!

5 comments:

Vicki Delany said...

The panel topic can be almost irrelevant. There are endless possibilities to talk about the importance of setting. A good moderator makes a good panel. The moderator's job is to make the pannelists look good, not to talk about themselves or their books. It helps if the panelists are comfortable with each other and can converse rather than just answering rote questions. My panel at BW was on maintaining a series - nothing original but it had, I think, a good moderator and engaged and interested panelists.

Hannahdennison@daviselen.com said...

I agree with Vicki - it's the chemistry between the panelists and a good moderator that can make all the difference. On a recent panel, our moderator suggested we each partially read at least one of each other's books. It worked well.

Rick Blechta said...

So do you believe that people attend panels based more on who is on the panel rather than what is being discussed?

Vicki Delany said...

In answer to Rick's last question: I do.

Donis Casey said...

I'm drawn to some panels because of who's on them and some because of the topic. But I agree the moderator is key. AT very least I like for the moderator to send the panelists a list of potential topics beforehand, just so we can all be thinking along the same lines. You can always go on a tangent if something interesting comes up in the discussion.